Good to Great

The thinking that got you here, will not get you there?
Do you have a single point of failure? Does the business require you to operate?
Are you looking to take the business to the next level?

Good to Great

The thinking that you got your here, will not get your there?
Do you have a single point of failure? Does the business require you to operate?
Are you looking to take the business to the next level?

“Glenwood was a good company, and we wanted to become a great company. Symplicity made things easier for us and guided us in the right direction to become a great company.” – Robert Belliveau

Glenwood Kitchen is a built-to-order kitchen cabinet manufacturer. They aim to create kitchens with personality and staying power – cabinets that stand the test of time. Glenwood had previously applied Lean techniques in their factory but only managed 5 to 10 percent improvements which fell off over time. Symplicity began its relationship with Glenwood in mid-2013 to improve these results and ensure that the gains stuck.

“Previous improvement actions netted gains of 5-10% and often fell off over time. Symplicity Designs helped us organize the way in which we do our work, and as a result, we have experienced increases in productivity in the areas improved ranging from 40% to over 100%. They also helped us put controls in place to ensure these gains are held long term.” – James McKenna

Project by project, we worked through the factory to remove various constraints to production. In the final assembly, workers were able to assemble 23 kitchen boxes per person. When the Symplicity team left, this statistic had improved to 38. Using effective Daily Management, the improvement stuck and continued – the Glenwood team can complete 50 kitchen boxes in a single day, good enough for an 117 percent improvement.

A cultural change around the factory is largely responsible for these gains. Our approach encouraged and facilitated a move from a culture based on directive to one based on involvement. Employees are now encouraged to suggest and implement ideas to make the business better. On average, each section of the factory was coming up with 8 to 15 small improvements per month and, as of February 2015, an improvement was being implemented every 2 to 3 days in each section.

Glenwood Kitchen had three goals for our engagement. They wanted to grow the business (more customers, new products), get products to their customers faster, and improve the quality of their products. They’ve hit every target. Moreover, the business leadership is spending little time putting out fires and more time focusing on various growth activities.

As owner James McKenna notes, “We really are focused on being the most productive kitchen manufacturer in Canada. That’s our goal, that’s where we want to be, and Symplicity is helping us with this.”